Blood processing fee for blood?

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Sunday, February 3, 2013


WHY is there a blood processing fee for blood? What is it for?

These are the perpetual questions that we kept encountering at the Philippine Red Cross-Mindanao Regional Blood Center (PRC-MRBC).

Voices have even been raised, complaints have been made because of the misconception of the blood processing fee.

The Red Cross has consistently explained the blood processing fee but still, these questions remain and not everyone has been enlightened. So, again, what is the blood processing fee for?

Allow me to shine a light on this matter.

Philippine Red Cross is a non-government humanitarian organization. Blood is free. Donating blood voluntarily or for a patient is free.

In addition, Red Cross is not profit-oriented. Our organization greatly depends on donations. So we are mandated by the Department of Health (Admin. Memo #181 s. 2002) and this is in accordance with the law, R.A. 7719, The Blood Services Act, that the Red Cross and DOH blood centers shall collect blood processing fees in order for the blood centers to sustain the operational expenses.

Furthermore, all of our blood units are tested for several transfusion-transmitted infections namely: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV 1, HIV 2, Syphilis and Malaria.

Aside from that, our blood units undergo a meticulous process in order to produce safe and quality blood and blood products. Our monthly operational expenditure in the blood center is P1-1.2 million. This is to ensure the safety and quality of our blood.

The Blood Processing Fee of the Red Cross was intended to be the lowest that could possibly be charged from a patient and for our blood center to “survive.” Thus, the reason for the Blood Processing Fee.

Furthermore, the Philipine Red Cross-Mindanao Regional Blood Center has experienced an increase in the demand for blood units. Our daily average blood release is 50 to 60 blood units and we are able to serve an average of 40 to 50 patients per day. The reason for this huge demand is that we are the primary provider of blood and blood products for the northern Mindanao area. This means that we are catering the blood needs of patients within Cagayan de Oro city as well as outside the city such as areas in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte. We are constantly serving patients needing blood transfusion specifically patients with dengue, bleeding disorders, anemia, leukemia, cancer, bleeding mothers, victims of motor vehicular accidents, and victims of gunshot and stab wounds. This is the reason for the existence of the Red Cross Blood Center. It has existed and is existing for humanity.

The safety and quality of our blood is in our hands and the safety of the recipient of our blood has always been our utmost concern. To save lives and not to harm has always been the Red Cross way.

(Dr. Claire Azura-Paglinawan is the Blood Center Manager of the Philippine Red Cross Misamis oriental-Cagayan de Oro Chapter)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 04, 2013.

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